We are in the process of updating the way the Mass Edit Reminders works. We have re-enabled the filtering options, so the reminder you set will only be applied to the students you have selected. We are still working on improving this feature. Look for some other changes over the next few weeks!
The secret of getting ahead is getting started.
~ Mark Twain
We trust your winter break was mostly wonderful, and your educator muscles might need a little stretching. We’re busy with some loose items from the year’s end, picking up some of your previous ideas to kick around, and creating an energized fresh start for 2016. Speaking of cleanup, let’s take a look at some explanations that might need a little cleaning …
Many of you have asked about the new Turnitin interface we shared just before the break. Here’s the scoop on that progress. As of this writing, the following FLVS courses now have the new Turnitin interface:
- Creative Photography I V14
- Driver Education/Traffic Safety V15
- Economics with Financial Literacy V16
- English I V12
- English II V14
- Geometry V16
- HOPE V14
- Parenting Skills V12
- Peer Counseling 1 V14
- Personal and Family Finance V12
- Spanish I V9
- United States History V12
- World History V12
Only courses in the FLVS part-time umbrella (learn.flvs.net) are currently activated. By the end of this week, all part-time courses will be activated.
NOTE: All franchises and full-time domains will be added before January 11.
Others among you have made positive suggestions to improve the functionality of the recent update to reminders. These improvements will be rolling out in the next couple of days. Thank you for your suggestions, concerns, and appreciation. Yes, we’re here with you … and Happy New Year!
And now we welcome the New Year … full of things that have never been.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke
It’s true. All of it.
Han Solo, Star Wars Episode VII, The Force Awakens
When you visit student assignments in the coming weeks, you’ll see something like this:
That link will bring you to this blog post regarding the new and more robust TII interface. When a student submits an assignment, you will possibly see new status information, indicating the file has been picked up by TII or rejected. Hovering over the text Failed will detail the reason for failure.
You will see one of the following reports for each assignment …
ONE (Legacy) – for previously submitted assignments; same as you have always seen:
TWO (New) – for assignments originally submitted since the new interface:
THREE (Both) – for assignments submitted in the old AND resubmitted in the new one:
Scores for both comments and all attached files will be shown in the new interface.
Questions or comments? Visit our Facebook page please.
We are going to show you more about where (and when!) your students have traveled …
We have had some great response to the current student Heatmap.
Many of you have found it to be a useful tool for knowing when to best reach out to a particular student.
The Day/Hour Heatmap has helped you possibly discover a pattern in a student’s online attendance.
We have been working to bring you even more useful information.
We have released this new view/tool today.
As we have learned, there is a 14-day activity policy in the school for all students.
Simply stated, a student must be active for 14 days in order to complete a course.
We have a VSA integration that tells us when a student becomes active.
It’s not our job, however, to determine the meaning of the word active after a student is classified as such.
That’s a job for the educators.
If you activate a student today, and the student does nothing for 14 days, and then submits all his/her work on that last day … was that student active?
Once again, it’s not our job here.
So, the development team has incorporated a new view within Educator just for educators!
Welcome to the Daily Usage Heatmap!
You will now be able to view this Daily Usage Heatmap from the ACTIONS menu for any student.
The calendar format is obvious and needs no explanation. This will graphically represent every activity a student has had in this particular course. Hovering over the legend icons will reveal how many activities each color block represents on the calendar. The calendar will extend as far as a student participated in the course. Even returning archived students will have their calendars filled in! The Actions Summary will display the count of activity days at each numerical break.
In the example above, the student had 25 days with one to four actions. The student had one day at each of the next two levels of activity and one day with maximum (over 25+) actions. What do you think? Helpful?
On another note …
We have been faced with recent support issues due to teachers trying to change assignments. REMINDER: You cannot make any changes to assessments! Please consult with your lead or IL.
On one final note …
The Educator team is making a run to the end of this week in an effort to add some enhancements before your winter break. We’ve developed a new integration with the TurnItIn system. It is being piloted in one course right now, and things are looking good. Be sure to check back here later today or tomorrow for more details.
There has been an awakening… have you felt it?
Supreme Leader Snoke, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
Formula for success: rise early, work hard, and strike oil.
~ J. Paul Getty
Rich text. It’s so much more demonstrative than plain text, isn’t it? Educator is going to START striking it rich via your reminders to students. We’ll watch that work, and we’ll see how you like it. If all goes well, and you seem to like it, we will expand the rich text editor into other areas of Educator. How about email, or feedback, or comments, and even announcements? Let’s see how you use these reminders for now. Try adding a reminder for a particular student. From the student roster you can add or edit a reminder:
You will click in the Student Name box to proceed one way or the other. That will open the Edit Student Reminder window:
The steps are all the same as they have been EXCEPT the text now showcases a rich text editor! Go play and give it a whirl! You can create or edit these reminders from the Student Roster page or under the Actions links under the applicable Assignment, Exam, or Worksheet page. Let us know what you think, and we will expand the scope of the rich text editor.
We have another little tidbit to make life a bit simpler for you. When you are sending a new email message, you might notice course shells listed that no longer have active students. These just get in the way. You can now control what course lists appear in your email recipient drop-down! Do you want to get rid of a listing?
From the black toolbar on top of any page select OTHER COURSES.
Scroll to the bottom of your Course Manager list and click on the COURSE ARCHIVES button.
You will see a list of Course Archives.
PLEASE NOTE: Every course MUST have the Allow Students in the course box checked!
To make any course disappear from your email listings, just check the Archive box (#2) and SUBMIT.
This will remove all listings from your email selection window. Restoration is accomplished by removing (#1) the checkmark. Pretty simple?
Be sure to check back next week. We will certainly have some stocking stuffers for you to enjoy.
Winter is a season of recovery and preparation.
~ Paul Theroux
In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.
~ Warren Buffett
Back again? Yesterdays often help shape tomorrows. Looking into a rearview mirror is never a good way to move forward. It definitely helps, however, to be able to see that pickup truck nearly inside your trunk or that BMW speeding up behind you on the right when you were about to move toward the exit lane. While rearview mirrors are not a primary focal point while moving forward, they are certainly worth a check to periodically get a glimpse of what’s going on all around you.
This week’s addition is somewhat off the instructional path.
It will not make your assessments any easier to grade.
Our work today will not process emails or help separate segments.
It’s really more like a Hansel and Gretel thing …
Wait, when the moon comes up I will be able to see the crumbs of bread that I scattered, and they will show us the way back home.
~ from Hansel and Gretel by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Your students leave a digital trail when they travel through Educator.
You’ve seen signs of this in the Usage Logs.
One of the teams at FLVS is focused on academic integrity.
You know those folks.
They wear long leather coats and wear hats pulled over their faces as they sit in smoke-filled rooms.
You’ve seen them in espionage movies and other black-and-white films.
No one knows their true identity.
It’s their mission to hide behind digital buildings and lurk in dark online alleys to find the students who are determined to beat the system, beat the assessments, and beat you at your own game.
They are the AI Team!
We wanted to make it easier to tell from where a student’s assessment had been submitted. We wanted to put more power into the hands of your academic integrity team. It’s no coincidence that this addition will also give you keener insight into what’s going on at those times when you want to know more. Your Educator team is just providing a tool for you to achieve closer scrutiny into the history of curious (suspicious?) assessment submissions.
Here we go, and here you can go as well …
Go to your STUDENT ROSTER and select any student.
Select that student to view his/her GRADE REPORT.
Click on any assessment within that report.
In this case we have selected an exam:
There will be a highlighted (blue) line that details the last accessed information. This will list the IP address from which the last submission of this particular assessment came. It will also share the geographic location of that public IP address. This will only be the APPROXIMATE location of the host. It will not pinpoint your house or office. Try this link, and see where you are right now.
Back to your students …
When you click on that LAST ACCESSED bar, a table will drop down. The number of rows will equal the number of times that particular assessment was submitted by that student. The date, the IP address, and the approximate location at that time will be listed:
In this example, the two oldest (bottom) submissions were from Central Florida. That’s not unusual. Providers often bounce around to different nodes, or students might go from home to school. The times were far apart as well. There is nothing unusual there. Would a submission from the Netherlands on the same day be questionable?
This will only apply to student work submitted AFTER today.
Prior submissions will NOT be included in this access table.
And finally …
We were asked a question recently about viewing the number of times assessments had been reset. We steered those queries to an older blog post from about 18 months ago! Do you see that other (RESET) bar beneath the new one?
That’s where you can view the reset history of a particular assessment in a student’s grade report. Time to go now. See you back here (or there) soon.
The past is like using your rear-view mirror in the car.
It’s good to glance back and see how far you’ve come, but if you stare too long you’ll miss what’s right in front of you.
Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.
~ Benjamin Franklin
We are not introducing new enhancements to you this week. Why not? Simply put, they’re just not ready for prime time. We have nothing on the shelf to share openly, to make you appreciate us, or to make your work go more smoothly this week.
What’s going on? Remember those sessions we attended several weeks ago in Orlando? We’ve been taking considerable planning and development time to build the foundation for some dramatic improvements. Some of those things just take longer to develop than others. You just can’t rush a creamy Ragu Bolognese or a smoked Texas Brisket!
Yes, we are still working. Yes, we are still listening. We’re pulling together the plans and programming to grow the learning management system you need. We’re stocking the shelves to better serve you next week, next month, next year, and beyond.
We didn’t want you to think we forgot about you. On the contrary, looking for the best paths to service you with excellence is a large part of our every day routine.
It’s important to have quiet time and isolation.
~ John Burnside
Do you know what hour is the busiest (most crowded) at FLVS?
On a typical weekday, during which hour is traffic heaviest in your Educator home?
Take your best guess on our Facebook page.
Roughly how many students are connected to Educator at any given moment in that hour above?
In other words … how many students are connected at the same time?
Got a guess? You know where to tell us.
Have a great week!
You don’t have to be a mathematician to have a feel for numbers.
~ John Forbes Nash, Jr.
An astronaut aboard the International Space Station took this photograph of small island cays in the Bahamas and the prominent tidal channels cutting between them. For astronauts, this is one of the most recognizable points on the planet. The string of cays (stretching 8.9 miles here) extends west from Great Exuma Island, Bahamas. Small tidal changes on the banks cause great quantities of water to flow daily through the narrow channels between the cays, first in one direction and then the other.
Repetition of the same thought or physical action develops into a habit which, repeated frequently enough, becomes an automatic reflex.
~ Norman Vincent Peale
This first topic is actually just another reminder. It will even seem like repetition to many of you. Simply put, only the curriculum and support teams can alter assignments or their accompanying instructions to students. There have been some cases where teachers or teams have tried to help students by adding/amending instructions to those assignments. These helpful hints would be erased when the master courses regenerated into your shells. This caused frustration over lost work on your part. The Educator system does exactly what it should do … preventing changes to lesson/assignment content.
We have blocked the ability to edit these assignments. The prohibited symbol will serve as an indication that this section is not to be changed. So, how can you readily offer suggestions to students regarding an assignment? Feel free to use ASSESSMENT REMINDERS when you feel like lending a helping hand.
Moving right along, we do have a couple of tweaks that might help you out. This one came from one of your full-time teachers, and we thought it could possibly benefit all.
Good afternoon! Those of us in the full-time program at FLVS would love to see if you could add a filter option in email so we could send a mass email to just those kids in a specific segment. This would be extremely helpful in keeping our students up to date with assignment information or any changes in live lessons, etc. Thank you!
Sound good? It did to us! So, here we go …
Teachers and TA’s will now be able to filter the recipient list in email by segment 1 or segment 2. You’ll now be able to sort your recipient list by segment. Can you think of how this might be useful in the part-time program? Please share your ideas with other teachers here.
Someone else asked if we could extend the usefulness of the Collaboration Finder. How would you like the same ability?
The collaboration finder is great but why can’t I just click and see who has signed up (or should be removed if complete) as an instructor as an option under students in my dashboard?
Is this something you’d like to see? You will now have a link on the Course Roster page:
You’ll link to a table displaying all students and their active collaboration requests, if any. Clicking the Student Name will bring you to that student’s Grade Report.
The columns can be sorted, and you’ll be able to review which students are currently advertising a need for partners. Take a look at who is planning to collaborate in your classes! If they are done, then counsel them to remove their request.
That’s all for now. Thank you for your continued thoughts, ideas, and comments. We do appreciate them.
Customer service is just a day in, day out ongoing, never ending, and unremitting, persevering, compassionate, type of activity.
~ Leon Gorman
- a mixture of dried petals of flowers with spices, kept in a jar for their fragrance
- a musical medley
- a collection of miscellaneous literary extracts
- a collection of various things; an assortment, mixed bag or motley
We really enjoyed listening to your ideas during the in-service last month. We now have a laundry list of great ideas, and the developers have begun building solutions to your challenges. Your Educator team has managed to put together a small collection of enhancements for you this week. Wasting no time …
On the notification center, show resubmitted status for assignments (the reports you can run to see who did what)
The NOTIFICATION CENTER results page will now show any assignments that have been resubmitted. This notation of resubmission only applies to assignments at this time. The same rules that apply to the Grade Report will also apply here.
Moving to the next part of our assortment …
Snippets are awesome! Is there a way to add the “Variable Examples” list to the “add snippet” function within the assessment?
Finally, when adding within the assessment, there should be a “save and add to comment” option so I can write the new snippet and put it directly into the assignment I’m grading instead of having to go back.
Those variable examples are now easy to find right where you need them:
Whenever you are grading an assessment, you can select the plus (“+”) button to start a new snippet with that text. In case you missed this … highlight the text you want to add, click the addition sign, and you will be brought directly to the Snippet name screen with the highlighted text already added.
Our notes from those sessions just keep coming! Take this for example …
Add the ability to prepend or append the “Quick Fill” text to the current reminder.
You’re just full of ideas on how to get things done more efficiently, aren’t you? We have to agree that being able to edit reminders would be a real timesaver. So, here we go again:
The Replacement Option in the Quick Fill section now allows you to PREPEND or APPEND any reminders displaying in the table below. Remember to sort first and then amend. This should make it easier to change all reminders to let your students know you’re on vacation for a few days.
We have one more flower for you this week. We heard your fascination with being able to determine OUTCOMES for students after taking exams or using worksheets. You have created certain paths or directions based on certain scores. You wanted the developers to make the outcomes even easier to use. This is what you’ve been using:
We think this new layout and interface will make it easier to use:
It’s what you think that really matters. Let us know please.
On a related note …
We pushed out an update to the Educator Support pages this week as well. Very few of you will see those pages, but it should help make that important side of the FLVS family just a little happier. And when your Support is happy, it just spreads smiles all around. Think contagious!
Nothing is so contagious as enthusiasm.
~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge
You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.
So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.
You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.
This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
~ Steve Jobs
This week brings you what happens when developers take a look back over their shoulders and what happens when they start thinking ahead. Looking back first …
The recent student heat map has been a popular Educator enhancement. We went to work on a recent Facebook post:
Will a heat map be available for course-wide views rather than individual students? Could be very interesting, if so.
What good is a course-wide heat map? How could that possibly be a benefit? Why would a teacher ever want that graphic? We asked around, and the answers helped add a new button to your Course Roster:
Why bother? You’ll be able to see when most of your students are working in your course. As students are transferred in or out, their usage data will follow them. The map will always reflect the “heat” in your active course attendance.
This might possibly help plan live lessons, group activities, or even your own personal scheduling. It’s entirely up to you how to use this data. It works for teachers and TA’s. Share some ideas with others, and let us know what you think. That’s our look back. What about looking ahead?
Storing information in a “cloud,” has become more and more common. There are many services out there, including Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive. Those are just three common services. We’re going to start with one. Do you use Dropbox? Their tagline reads, “One place for all your stuff, wherever you are.” Based on your feedback and use, we might expand to other services.
How might this apply to you and your students? Basically, these services make your files available from any device … computer, phone, tablet, anywhere. You can also share documents with others. Think about teams sharing files. Think about students collaborating on documents. These are just some quick possibilities. Another angle might well be the staging of documents here for upload from server to server. We really don’t know how much you will use this, but we see it as a real plus for students to be able to access their work for submission from any place through any device. The process is very straightforward for instructors.
Select Upload to Folder:
Sign into Dropbox and select your files:
Additionally, your students will have the same options they have now regarding file sizes and count.
Students can also upload and SAVE or SUBMIT as always.
We will wait and see how you and your students utilize the cloud upload connection. As more and more devices get used, we do think this will prove valuable. Feel free to speak your mind, and we will listen.
Whatever good things we build end up building us.
~ Jim Rohn